Investors are preparing ahead for expected upcoming market turmoil ahead of the US presidential election in November, with some shifting stock portfolios and selling the dollar, as Democratic party contender Joe Biden maintains a considerable lead in opinion polls against President Donald Trump.
During the four months leading up to the Nov. 3 elections, much will shift, and several analysts are concentrated about how a coronavirus outbreak could threaten a fragile U.S. economic rebound.
Nonetheless, several fund investors are now planning for the prospect of a win for Biden by betting against the currency and slashing their stakes in US stocks.
“The president’s poll numbers have fallen off a cliff,” said Phil Orlando, chief equity market strategist at Federated Hermes. “The market is looking at this and saying, ‘If the election were held today Biden would win.'”
The new survey by Reuters / Ipsos shows Biden leading Trump among eligible voters by 8 percentage points. Trump’s support for treating the coronavirus pandemic has collapsed.
A win for Biden-as well as a potential House and Senate Democratic sweep-may challenge initiatives supported by Trump and widely preferred by Wall Street, including lower corporate tax levels and fewer restrictions, analysts said.
Despite the sharp coronavirus-fueled dip, since Trump took office, the S&P 500 is up about 37 per cent. Under the first term of Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, the index rose 85 per cent and 79 per cent respectively.
According to Amundi Pioneer Asset Management, under Biden, the corporate tax rate is expected to climb to 28 percent, replacing half of Trump’s and Republican-led Congress reduction in late 2017.
That could rising S&P 500 earnings by around $20 a share, push buyers out of U.S. stocks and damage the dollar, said Paresh Upadhyaya, fund manager at the firm that bets against the greenback.
The fund manager at Laffer Tengler Investments, Arthur Laffer Jr., unwounded his dollar stake last week, predicting that a Biden win could contribute to stronger development and strain on the U.S. currency. Laffer Jr ‘s father has been counseling Trump on economic concerns.
Gross betting in derivative contracts against the U.S. dollar just reached a two year peak.
In a report to clients, analysts at UBS Global Wealth Management said possible new legislation by a Democratic government may be a headwind for oil and financial stocks.
Recently, the BlackRock Investment Institute has cut its ratings on U.S. equities to neutral over concerns of fading fiscal stimulus and uncertainty about elections.
“The two parties are as far apart on policy as they have ever been, making the result consequential for markets,” BlackRock’s analysts said in a note.
Orlando of Federated Hermes has boosted his cash allowance as the cases of coronavirus have risen and the vote numbers of Trump have dropped. He expects to lower shares in dividend-paying securities if Trump’s fall in the polls tends to boost questions about higher dividend taxation and capital gains.
Most investors remain unconvinced that a Biden win or Democratic sweep will bode poorly for stocks, especially because the U.S. economy is supposed to be bolstered by the Federal Reserve if appropriate.
As long as (stimulus) stays constant … you will continue to have some ballast in terms of asset prices,” said Sam Hendel, president at Levin Easterly Partners.